Elk Jam

Though nearly an island as of now, Estes Park was relatively dry a few days ago.  While visiting some friends in town, we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park in search of some of its famous elk herds.  Heading straight for the Morraine Park area, we found ourselves disappointed at first as a light drizzle began to fall, and the herds were nowhere to be found.  

At the far end of the meadow, we encountered some traffic.  Sure enough, a medium-sized bull stood about one or two feet from the road: a classic "elk jam" scenario.  Curious cars crept past him unnoticed as he continued to sniff through the grass for an early autumn snack.  Tourists swarmed and cars continued to move along in slow, single-file fashion.  Not once did he seem concerned by the many vehicles; buses and RVs carried on without the slightest glance from the bull.  There was another in the bushes behind him, presumably also foraging for food.

Around the corner and past the overcrowded dirt "parking lot," the entire herd revealed itself.  At least thirty strong, they wandered around about a hundred yards or so from the roads and the crowds.  Like the bull, they seemed entirely uninterested in the swarms of humans, beside the presumably alien noises of a starting engine or an unruly child.  Talk about gentle beasts.  Anyway, below is a short montage of the herd including a mother feeding her yearling and an enormous bull maintaining the peace.  The song is "The Pasture" by Nederland, Colorado's own Elephant Revival.  Enjoy, and for those of you in Colorado, stay safe!